The most well-documented example is the lethal amphibian fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, commonly known as chytrid. Originally reported in 1997, chytridiomycosis has infected more than 500 species of frogs and salamanders on all continents where amphibians are found, and launched half of all amphibian species into evolutionary decline. Many other species affected by fungal disease face imminent extinction, such as the European crayfish.
To establish whether the data scientists were gathering really did point to a dramatic shift in a deadly trend affecting numerous species, Matthew Fisher, a reader in fungal disease epidemiology at Imperial College London, and his colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of past studies available on Web of Science, an online citation index provided by Thomson Reuters, ProMED (the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases) and HealthMap, which monitors disease outbreaks in plant and animal hosts. Their findings revealed that fungi and funguslike pathogens (oomycetes) account for 65 percent of the pathogen-driven species loss in the past half century.
Perhaps it is unsurprising in a global economy, but human activity such as international trade and military operations have intensified the dispersal of fungal pathogens, delivering new foes to unprotected victims and introducing new evolutionary opportunities to previously harmless fungus species.